The story of how Roberto Zorcolo defied his doctors and fought to overcome his chronic asthma to become an Ironman. The entry below is an excerpt from his book followed by his bio taken from his blog. I have translated his book into English – it is awaiting publication.
“The short run was manageable, but an asthma attack wasn’t far away. I had covered about 200 metres – better than the first time – now I had to do the 200 metres to get back, making a total distance of almost half a kilometre. Half a kilometre…who would’ve ever thought it? My heart was fit to burst with pride.
💪 I started to practice sport and look after my body, my mental health and my illness. By starting with short distances that would turn into kilometre after kilometre… Anything is possible as you can see on my page. This photo and short extract are from my book. It can encourage you and help you understand that you move forwards by taking small steps, whatever your goal is. 🙏… Head, Heart, Legs – never give up…” (Anything is Possible, La Zattera 2016)
From early September, the days seem to be still sleeping when you wake up. The first few rays of sunlight herald a new day and new life into the coffee-aroma-filled room. But not today. Just as the weather forecast had predicted, it had rained in the night and the sky was leaden. Forecasts are rarely wrong these days! Even after sipping my coffee, the semi-darkness of the grey morning remains. Not too different from my mood.
I face the window and look out. I try to hold on the hope that the distant break in the clouds has cut through the dense nebulous gloom, heavy with rain. Will the weather change? In a few hours? Maybe. But we can’t hang around. Morning training is looming. We have to be moving by 8.
Finishing is the thing
I drive across the bridge to get to the seafront at Bari. The dark, turbulent waves of the sea are uninviting. It’s rougher than we could have imagined, inspiring respect. Since the end of June, the heat and colours of summer have framed our training. Today, the tones and temperature seem to signal the colder months. We leave the changing room in silence. Continue reading
A few days ago, the President of the Italian Rowing Coach Association, Maurizio Ustolin, invited me to write an article about my rowing. On the surface, a simple request. And then, after some thought, I realised it was not so simple at all.
I realised that he didn’t mean a technical ‘approach’, far too easy. But a reflection of ‘what’ rowing has meant to me. What it has ‘given me’. Describing this is not so straight forward, because for me, rowing is not a ‘memory’, it was and is ‘my life’. To describe only some aspects would be to over-simplify it.
I began rowing in 1963, when I was 17. Convinced by my school friend, Gianpiero Galeazzi, to give this adventure a try, I left behind basketball and athletics. I’d been doing them more out of amusement than for the love of them. ‘My’ sport took a forceful hold of my already structured adult life. It started as an ‘add-on’ but became everything in time – even becoming my professional life. But that’s another story. We ‘racing members’ entered the club by the side door, the workman’s entrance. We weren’t allowed to Keep on reading!
I clearly remember the first time I sat on the rowing ergo. It was Monday 1st September 2014. And we all know a Monday is the perfect day to start something new.
Until that point, nobody had told me creation was divided into two broad categories. I used to distinguish people just by being male or female, unaware of the world being split into two by a simple set of scales!
The unbearable lightness of being
Before I encountered Indoor Rowing, my life was made up of drinking, bars, pizza, all-you-can-eat restaurants and of “pour me another” … Continue reading
For those of you who enjoyed the excerpt in my previous blog post in January from ‘A Year with Melissa’, the book is now available to purchase in English.
This week I received a printed copy of ‘A Year with Melissa’, now available to purchase from Amazon.com. My son, Peter is enjoying reading it with our cat, Sugar.
It’s also available to purchase as an eBook from Barnes & Noble (USD) or Kobo (GBP). If you don’t have a Kindle or similar, you can download readers from these sellers to use on phones and tablets, and even web apps.
Do you have something new you want to focus on this year? I’m not really a resolution kind of person – I feel changes can be made at any time of the year, not just on January 1st.
So I made my change a few months ago by embarking not on another rowing or cycling translation, but on the translation of a book. The departure is that it’s a collection of short stories aimed at children, but which has a philosophical slant, aiming to help all of us make sense of the modern world and make the right choices for the lifestyle we want.
Hopefully, you’ll find the stories as captivating as I did. As a taster, I’ve included a short excerpt from one of Melissa’s discussions with Mr Cat about how children learn to imitate their parents’ behaviours.
The collection of short stories will be published shortly…
Excerpt from ‘A year with Melissa’ by Marzia Bosoni
Faced with Melissa’s silence, the cat continued.
“What’s the matter now? Have I confused you?”
“No, not at all. What you say makes sense to me, but why don’t Mummy and Daddy understand?”
“You see, little one, your parents constantly tell you what you SHOULD and SHOULDN’T do, don’t they?”
Melissa nodded quickly, thinking back to all the warnings her mother had given her only a few minutes earlier.
“Your parents,” the cat went on, “heard the ‘SHOULD’ repeated so many times they ended up believing them. So, now they think they have to go to work, to earn lots of money, to buy certain things such as that noisy box that shows pictures that make no sense…”
“A year with Melissa” translated by Gillian Shaw
For more news on books by this author, go to her Facebook page
The minibus. A confined, restricted space. A meeting place of bodies and souls that generates an atmosphere like no other – it pervades all the senses. And smell more than any other. Removing yourself from its spell is difficult for young rowers looking forward with trepidation to their minibus trip. These days, journeys are marked by fingers moving across touch screens. But years ago they moved across guitar chords with the rest of the group singing songs about blond-haired, blue-eyed beauties and the like. It was also a chance to spend time with the driver. The man the rowing club had entrusted with their hopes, rowers and boats, in driving them to the regatta.
In my club, as in many others, this chap was almost always the coach. There were few resources available, and these men had so much enthusiasm and made so many sacrifices for our beloved sport. Back then, travelling in the minibus Continue reading